Friday, June 21st, 2024

Cocaine Use

Cocaine is an intense nervous system stimulant. Cocaine is found within the leaves of the Erthroxylum coca plant in South America.  Cocaine makes its way into the United States primarily through Southern California and Southern Texas. Cocaine use is still one of the leading drugs that is abused and has slowly decreased since 2007. In fact the numbers for cocaine use have drastically dropped for those who have tried cocaine (over the age of 12) from 977,000 in 2006 to 617,000 in 2009; that is the lowest it has ever been since 1973.

The effects of cocaine use depending on how it is ingested can last from 15 to 30 minutes or even up to an hour. The positive effects of cocaine use are alertness, feelings of well-being and euphoria, energy and increased motor activity, feelings of competence and sexuality. The negative effects of cocaine use include and are not limited to; anxiety, paranoia and restlessness. These are also very frequent. This contributes to continued use and a continuation of a worsening condition which can easily lead to an addiction of cocaine use since those addicted usually cannot appreciate the long-term effects of cocaine use anymore, opposite those occurring immediately after use.

Cocaine use can look different depending on how it is used. Cocaine can be snorted, smoked, or injected. Snorting of any substance can lead to damaging the cartilage in the nose, eventually leading to holes in the septum (the soft tissue inside of the nose). If injected, cocaine use can lead to a wide variety of problems including life-threatening infections and shared needle-related blood diseases. Cocaine use on a regular basis usually has the same outcome; the user will almost always become addicted. When the cocaine use is discontinued immediately, the user will experience what has come to be known as a “crash” along with a number of other cocaine use withdrawal symptoms, including but not limited to;

Some other cocaine withdrawal symptoms are similar symptoms schizophrenia patient’s experience, such as the feeling that your mind is lost. Some cocaine withdrawal symptoms also give you a crawling feeling under or on the skin known as the sensation of “coke bugs“. These cocaine withdrawal symptoms can last for weeks or, in some cases months. Even after most cocaine withdrawal symptoms dissipate, most people who have used cocaine feel the need to continue using coke and this feeling can last for years. About 30-40% of cocaine addicts will turn to other substances such as medication and alcohol after giving up cocaine use. Also, there are various medications on the market to ease cocaine withdrawal symptoms.

Although the withdrawal from heavy cocaine use is not as debilitating as the withdrawal from opiates, benzodiazepines or alcohol, it is still quite unpleasant. Often, individuals simply increase their cocaine use to reduce these effects, leading to a pattern which creates an addiction. If you think you may have a cocaine addiction it is probably best if you enter yourself into an inpatient treatment or detox facility.